Principles and Precedents of Moohummudan Law
William Hay Macnaghten (1793-1841), of the Bengal Civil Service, published this work in 1825. It is a compilation of principles and precedents of Islamic law, focusing on family, inheritance and property law, including the status of slaves. Born in India and from a legal family, Macnaghten used his skill in languages as well as his legal training to produce this monumental work, and a similar two-volume treatise on Hindu law (1828-9). Quoting from both Sanskrit and Arabic sources, Part I discusses the principles of family law, inheritance, sales, wills, and slavery, while Part II offers precedents in all these areas, and an appendix gives details of the cases cited. Macnaghten was involved in political as well as legal work, and the disastrous First Anglo-Afghan War was begun largely on his advice. He was killed by an Afghan leader during negotiations outside Kabul in 1841.